‘As normal as possible’: WCU outlines plans for Fall 2021

As the pandemic continues to recede, Western Carolina University is planning for a fall semester that “will look more like fall 2019 around here than fall 2020,” Chancellor Kelli Brown told trustees during a June 4 meeting. 

Mask mandates lifted amid plummeting COVID-19 numbers

New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are falling toward the lowest levels seen since the pandemic took root. 

Honoring our healthcare heroes

By Greg Caples • Guest Columnist | What is a hero? Maya Angelou famously said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” 

Vaccination still slow as Pfizer shot approved for teens

For the fourth straight week, the rate of vaccinations has decreased in the four-county area, with just 0.5 percent of the four-county area’s population receiving a first dose between May 3 and May 10. 

Sitting in the mess can be worth it

I’m not the traditional church-going type. “Christianity” is an antiquated, laden term of which I’m not a fan. My faith is unique, evolving. My God is changing and alive with the times. My Bible is a book of stories, metaphors and poetry. It is not a hard and fast guidepost.

New vaccinations continue to slow

Vaccinations continue to slow down in the four-county area and in the state as a whole, but case counts are dropping too, with the 981 new cases reported statewide May 4 — marking just the fourth time since October that figure has fallen below 1,000.

This must be the place: The best things in life are truly free, singing birds and laughing bees

Woke up this morning with the thought of the impending summer, impending “state of being” for all of us slowly sliding back towards to some sense of normalcy amid “all this.” 

Vaccine appointments readily available in WNC

Vaccination rates slowed substantially across the four-county area over the past week, and the pace will likely continue to slacken as health departments across the area report a dearth of demand.

Virus trends down as vaccination continues

Despite a continued pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and flagging demand for appointments, the past week saw continued progress on local vaccination rates and a reversal of the upward trend in confirmed cases.

What is the deal with COVID vaccines? Dr. Jernigan addresses SMN readers’ concerns

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout is in full swing, and while many people rushed to get their shot at the first opportunity, others say they still have questions and will wait for a vaccine — or won’t get one at all. 

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